Recently, my family of four went to Destin, Florida for our yearly beach vacation. This was the first year for my husband and I to travel with TWO children. But we figured we'd go all out and have my sister, brother-in-law, and their TWO kids tag along. I mean - what says relaxing beach vacation but having four kids under four years old on the trip?
It was man-to-man combat. Every adult had a kid. So at least there's that. No zone defense, we were not outnumbered - maybe outsmarted - but nonetheless - we had this plan: everyone is in charge of a kid. Just one a piece - should be easy, right?
All jokes aside - my husband and I had to get the pre-game speech in to pump ourselves up for what we knew would be a fun, yet exhausting trip. Here are the contents of that motivational sermon:
1. Pack your patience pants. Just know that things will not go according to plan. No one will be ready on time, and likely someone will be crying. Mainly mom. Just breathe and go with it.
2. We are there to enjoy time together. Even if it's in the condo. Even if it's in the INDOOR pool (really Florida??). We are there together and these moments are creating memories that they will FOR SURE remember.
3. Throw out the schedule - sort of. Okay, so this one is easier said than done. I am a dictator when it comes to nap and bedtime routines, but even I had to let-it-go (cue Elsa) for a vacation. Kids were out of their routines, so sometimes we had to just go with the flow.
4. Take off the judgement glasses. My sister and I made a pact. We would not judge one another on this trip for anything we did to keep our sanity. Glass of wine at 3pm? Not judging. Extra slice of pizza and ice cream when kids are asleep? Nope - not saying a word. This is vacation dang-it.
5. Wash and dry those patience pants for the ride home. Kids have been spoiled and out of routine for a week. They may not click back to normality right away. Give them (and yourself) some grace.
In all reality - we had a blast. Complete with pictures to prove it.
Oh, and there is point number 6. Take really adorable photos so you can at least make people think everyone was always on their best behavior. ;)